In Leicester, the vast majority of our councillors earn a nominal amount of money for their official Council duties. As the city council web site explains: “The basic allowance is currently £10,556 a year, plus £1,205 to cover travel and subsistence within the city of Leicester.”
Of course, we may still dispute whether our Labour councillors really earn this money. All the more so given the fact that, so far, they have done nothing to help build the type of mass movement that our city so desperately needs in order prevent the loss of vital local services and ultimately force the Tories from power.
A handful of councillors, however, do earn considerably more than this basic allowance because, as the Council web site observes: “councillors’ are paid a greater allowance if they have special responsibilities, such as the City Mayor, and members of council committees.”
For example, the City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby gets an additional £60,047 making his income for this present year £70,603 (he also gets a further £1,831 for serving as a Group Leader for the Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service).
Using the latest figures from 2017-18, we might note that the four other well-paid Leicester city councillors include:
- Cllr Kirk Master – £10,349 + £17,339 (Assistant City Mayor – Neighbourhood Services) + £3,196 (Vice Chair for the Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service) + approximately £30,405 (for working 20 hours a week as the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicestershire – this figure is taken from his 2016 salary) = TOTAL REMUNERATION OF £61,289
- Cllr Piara Singh Clair – £10,349 + £23,601 (Deputy City Mayor with responsibility for Culture, Leisure, Sport and Regulatory Services) = TOTAL REMUNERATION OF £33,950
- Cllr Adam Clarke – £10,349 + £23,601 (Deputy City Mayor with responsibility for Environment, Public Health and Health Integration) = TOTAL REMUNERATION OF £33,950
- Cllr Sarah Russell – £10,349 + £23,601 (Deputy City Mayor with responsibilities for Children, Young People’s Services) = TOTAL REMUNERATION OF £33,950
Finally, it is worth considering that each and every year our city councillors complete a “Register of Members’ Interests” form upon which they can disclose if they contribute any of their sizable incomes back to a trade union. And here it seems that of these five well-paid Labour leaders, only two (Soulsby and Clair) have declared that they are members of a trade union.
This is a good start on Soulsby’s and Clair’s part, but the question remains why aren’t all Labour councillors not just members of a trade union, but active trade unionists themselves? And wouldn’t it be better still if all of Leicester’s so-called Labour leaders pledged to take an average workers wage and give the rest of their incomes over to funding a socialist fight-back against Tory austerity. This is certainly what all elected members of the Socialist Party would committ to doing if elected into Council jobs that paid more than the average workers wage.